Garden Envy

I have fallen victim to the sin of envy. My friends post on Facebook about their killer gardens overflowing with vegetables, and I grumble. They live in the country; why don’t the animals ruin their garden, too? So evil.

I bluntly tell Baby Girl that nothing’s growing this year—pout, stomp, grrr. I know I’m acting childish, and I’m totally overreacting, but it’s just been so frustrating.

A young mom I know is trying her hand at canning beans for the first time. My beans looked like this before I dug them up last weekend.



That one tiny sprig of green was not enough to give me hope of a harvest, but it could be a sign that the stinky soap I hung on the garden fence is working to stave off animal invaders.

This year hasn’t been a total fail. We’ve been growing a lot of zucchini. Somehow my intention to buy one plant turned into a pony-pack. We’ve enjoyed zucchini fritters, zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, zucchini brownies, zucchini baba ganoush, and we still have plenty more.

The MR mentioned that he didn’t really like zucchini growing up, and I admitted I didn’t either. That’s why I didn’t feel guilty leaving a few zucchini sitting out after a recent rainstorm. I figured I’d use them as bait to see if the soap was really keeping animals away.


After four or five days, I haven’t seen any fresh teeth marks. It may be working, or our animal intruder is tired of zucchini, too.

While the garden is a bit of a bust at the moment, you’ll notice my marigolds are looking great. I planted them to keep the slugs away from the beans, peas, beets, and lettuce. Animals in turn have decimated all of the above, but these orange beauties are thriving.



Ever the optimist—don’t laugh—I figured maybe a late summer planting would fare better. I went through my seed box and planted a few beets, onions, spinach, and carrots. With maturity dates less than 60 days, I’m looking for good things come October.

Amidst all my gloom and doom, I did manage to make a tasty salad with onions, cucumber, tomatoes, and basil all from our own garden.

Tomato cucumber salad

I’ve been picking a pint or two or blueberries, currants, and recently blackberries since June. And the apples I’ve been enjoying with breakfast and lunch, I picked from our orchard. So along with disappointment, we have had many successes. The tomatoes have just begun to ripen. I have eight Roma tomatoes on the counter ready for dinner, and the branches of my plants are loaded.

There’s a special feeling of accomplishment when you eat a meal composed of food you’ve grown yourself. I guess I’ll just have to be content with what we have rather than all I want.

My dad always said farmers were the biggest gamblers; I see his point.

How is your garden? Have any amazing zucchini recipes to share?


4 thoughts on “Garden Envy

  1. Poor baby, quit stomping and this winter get some finer peat, and dirt. When you show close-ups of your soil, it looks all woody and dry. not lush and moist. Our first garden was on Shaw Island, in the old chicken coop. Papa brought in our dump truck the best top soil, from (the peat bog in Silver Lake on 35th, by our old house) very fine, lush, dark and moist……….so coupled with the old chicken manure, we had the best garden on the island. So, naturally others wanted to have the same soil, which Papa brought up the next spring for a few of the other gardeners. It was from the same place, and called the same thing as he had purchased the year before, but it was awful, full of wood, dry, with hard clumps, and did not accept water well, and nothing grew…………….thank goodness we didn’t put it on our existing garden!. Papa advises taking out most of what you have, and adding many, many bags of Miracle Grow Potting Soil. With our dry, extreme heat it holds the water and has lots of good minerals in it as well. “You have already given lots of loving care, and know how to keep the critters out, it is time to start a new”, says Papa.

    • I did have the soil tested a few years ago when nothing seemed to grow in our garden. I think the sticks MK was seeing were the torn up bits of the bean plants.

      We’ve added fertilizer, worm casting, and humid acid. All my new seeds were sprouting within days, but tunnels were also dug under the barriers I set up.

      It’s a pest not a fertility problem—just look at the size of the zucchini and the marigolds.

  2. Pingback: The August Recap | big white house on the hill

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